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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

August 24, 1986|Lee Margulies

SPORTS--In late summer, the slumbering TV sports fan begins to stir. Baseball's pennant race is on. The football season is at hand. New York's Flushing Meadows hosts the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. After a summer whose sporting highlight was the Goodwill Games (yawn), the tube is alive again.

Both local baseball teams will be on view this week. The California Angels, battling to win the American League's Western Division, take on the Baltimore Orioles at 11 a.m. Sunday, then face the New York Yankees at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, both on KTLA Channel 5. The Dodgers, meanwhile, meet the playoff-bound New York Mets at 4:30 p.m. Friday on KTTV Channel 11.

Professional football fans must content themselves with more preseason games this week, as when the Rams travel to Denver to engage the Broncos at 5 p.m. Friday (Channels 4, 36 and 39). But college football always counts, at least for the national polls, and Alabama's Crimson Tide will face the Ohio State Buckeyes in the fourth annual Kickoff Classic Wednesday at 5 p.m. on Channel 5. On Saturday, Miami will square off with South Carolina at 5 p.m. on ESPN cable.

Cable is also the place to catch the early tennis action at the U.S. Open. CBS will offer a preview of the event at 10:30 a.m. Sunday (Channels 2 and 8), but it's USA cable that will cover the initial action on Tuesday--from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

USA's live coverage, hosted by Tim Ryan, Mary Carillo and Barry MacKay, continues Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Friday's second-round matches will run from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

On Saturday, CBS will return to the scene for third-round action from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., while USA continues its coverage from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. USA will continue to cover the tournament through the quarterfinals Sept. 4, then CBS will broadcast the semifinals and finals.

By then it will be time to get ready for television's biggest sport: the prime-time ratings race.

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